"To me, Being-centred coaching sessions, Esalen massage, the Art of Jin Shin and Biodanza are all invitations to relax and to experience ourselves as ever more spacious, grounded and whole."
My own life journey has been greatly touched by the healing arts. They have allowed me to address addictive tendencies and burn out, defence mechanisms and many of life's deep questions. They continue to support me in aligning to my purpose. And they offer on-going inspiration to expand my expressive vocabulary and horizons as to what it means to be human and to heal.
I am a Biodanza facilitator and author of Dances with Spiders, an in-depth study of dance, trauma and well-being in southern Italy, based on my PhD in medical anthropology. In 2012, I became a member of the Findhorn Foundation and have since further expanded my research into the healing arts.
I first heard about The TARA Approach and its energy medicine component The Art of Jin Shin through Stephanie Mines' presentation at the 2013 Forgiveness Conference at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. I started using Stephanie's book We Are All in Shock and was struck by its profound impact on my nervous system. I then trained with Stephanie Mines and her student Anneke Stolte to certify as a TARA Approach practitioner, while supporting Stephanie's workshops at the Findhorn Foundation from 2014 - 2017. I am an on-going student of the Art of Jin Shin and, since Jan 2019, have been holding a bi-monthly Art of Jin Shin practice group (now online!)
In 2017, I trained with Perry and Johanna Holloman from the Esalen Institute in California, completing the 200 hour Esalen Massage certification, plus a further 50 hours of applied practice. In 2018 and 2019, I trained further in Deep Bodywork with Mika Oishi.
In 2019, I certified as a coach with Helen Sieroda and Diana Whitmore of Wise Goose Coaching through the The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). I am now integrating coaching into my work, both in person and online.
In 2020, I completed a 6 month course in Conscious healing with Thomas Huebl. This focused on developing a deeper awareness of our subtle states and blockages, our connection to higher fields of consciousness and the relation to healing individual and collective trauma.
I also benefit from trainings in Kinesiology, EFT, Reiki, trauma awareness, as well as a two year course in Energetic cellular healing and the five characterological defences as defined in Bio-energetics.
On-going supervisions and continuing professional development are central to my work.
I am a member of The Institute of Leadership and Management, The TARA Approach practitioners list, The Esalen Massage and Bodywork Association and the Biodanza Association UK.
Esalen massage was inspired by the rhythms of the Pacific ocean and developed at the Esalen Institute, founded on the Californian coast in 1962.
It grew out of the work of master teachers such as Charlotte Selver (Sensory awareness), Fritz Perls (Gestalt therapy), Moshe Feldenkrais (The Feldenkrais method) and Gabrielle Roth
Long term Esalen residents and master trainers Perry and Johanna Holloman now teach the art of Esalen massage around the world.
Since 2005, they have been offering month-long certification courses
bi-annually at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.
The Art of Jin Shin &
the TARA Approach
The Art of Jin Shin (aka Jin Shin Jyutsu) was developed by Jiro Murai in Japan, as a result of his affliction by a life-threatening illness in 1912. Following his unexpected recovery, he dedicated his life to study and pass on this system.
In the 1940s, his student Mary Ino Burmeister overcame her own health challenges through learning Jin Shin Jyutsu and eventually went on to offer treatments and trainings in the US.
Stephanie Mines became one of her long-term, dedicated students in 1975. Out of her own legacy of shock and trauma, she has developed this system further into The TARA Approach.
She also offered trainings in The TARA Approach at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland from 2013 to 2018.
What others say:
Being-centred coaching sessions
"I found the work with Karen to be nourishing and empowering, enabling me to tap into my inner wisdom by being fed back my own words in a gentle and supportive way. I felt inspired and accepted." - K.H.
"I was able to access deep levels of information and realisations that not only helped me understand past events and release old patterns, but also to know what actions to take to resolve problems and move forward. The gentle and well-timed humour helped too! " - S.P.
"I love the surprising insights of the sessions... the sense of spacious timelessness... of not feeling rushed and the opportunity to relax..." - P.J.
"Karen skillfully helped me focus on a couple of topics to go into in more depth and then led me in a guided relaxation, with what felt like the perfect amount of time for new insights to bubble up naturally. It felt like floating down a river, rather than forcing anything. Out of this came more clarity and some exciting next steps!" - P.L.
"I had never done a coaching session before and thought it would be all about goal setting and action plans. I also expected a lot of brainstorming and analytical thinking. As it is, I am already the sort of person who makes to-do lists! Instead, after talking for a while, I was invited to stop, sit back and do a guided relaxation. The imagery that came up took me by surprise, as did the associated insights. I was surprised because the messages contained in what came up where so precise in providing answers to the questions I had!" - J.P.
"I discovered how empowering it can be to 'not know', to relax into the process and to just allow new awarenesses to surface naturally." - R.P.
Art of Jin Shin selfcare coaching sessions
"I am continually fascinated by the invitation of my body and am gaining faith that I’m intuitively doing the right thing." J.G.
"Thank you for an extremely nourishing and useful Jin Shin session. I felt put at ease from the start (not always easy over a video link) and was able to relax and easily connect. The time we took to ground and centre at the outset also helped with this and allowed me to focus in further on what I most wanted to bring to the session. Our dialogue effectively took me deeper into the process, including your feedback and prompts. I particularly valued hearing about your felt sense responses to what I was sharing. This helped me arrive at a real 'aha moment' which has resulted in shifting a challenging relationship for me at work. Practicing the specific Art of Jin Shin points and sequences during the session allowed me to experience their effectiveness and this has helped me apply them since." H.K.
Art of Jin Shin group sessions
"I love coming. This is a meditation group for me - a body-centred meditation group." M.J.
"I came with an inquisitive mind, to see if this was valid for me? It passed all the tests!" L.T.
"I'm grateful this group is happening. I've familiarity with the meridians through other modalities and it's great to have a group practice session. The impact is profound." G.G.
"Loved experiencing the wisdom of the hand gestures and making them conscious." I.T.
TARA Approach retreat
"What beautiful 5 days of transformation these have been for me. I honour the skill, love and deep wisdom, with which you held and guided me. I have very much appreciated the honesty between us and the mutual respect for our own and each other’s feelings.
"Speaking out" and "being in my power" have been much easier since our intensive. During a dance workshop last weekend, I managed to speak in the group without being overwhelmed by nervousness and without loosing myself! Woohoo!!! I also practiced when dancing together with someone to not overstretch to the other, by staying in my centre line and seeing from this position what connection unfolded. This was liberating and there was "ease" and two people came back to me saying thank you - something had shifted for them too...
In general, I feel more balance in myself and there are also subtle changes in how I feel about my father, anger has gone and there is more balance between the male and female sides in myself. I have differentiated more from what happened between my father and mother. Undoubtedly there is still more to unfold!" – A. S.
"As my body relaxed and became 'spacious', my inner wisdom presented itself with the light I am, my inner sanctuary, my 'inner belonging'..." – S. A.
"Wow, I’m surprised I didn’t fall asleep. I felt very cared for - and like I was far, far away at the end." – L.M.
"I loved the massage. It was sensitive, gentle and as firm as needed at the same time. It felt soothing and healing. There was a sense of flow in terms of feeling and pressure, a sense of focus and consistency. It was a privilege to be at the receiving end of this kind of attention and I felt huge gratitude to you for being so caring, loving and focused. That sense of care from you made me feel I needed to do the same for myself, instead of imagining that I can treat my body any old way and that it’ll simply keep chugging along." - G.D.
"After our massage yesterday, I slept very well, much longer and deeper than usual, and today my knee feels much freer in movement and when putting my weight on it. I also feel that as much as I can do for myself, a different loving pair of hands is so much more relaxing, especially on the more knotted parts of my body, but also by being touched all around. Above all, my feet feel as new. So much tension was held there." K.W.
"I loved the stroke all the way from the foot up the side. Most massages I’ve experienced to date were done in parts: top, bottom, right, left. The work on the neck was amazing and I realized how much tension I’m carrying. It felt like I was in a kind of altered state all of the time and I could have had it go on forever." - J.C.
"This was my first Esalen massage with Karen and... I hadn't realised how much I needed it! After a gruelling year full-time caring for loved ones, I've often neglected the needs of my body and my health has been wavering. From the pre-massage to the first few flowing strokes, I felt so tenderly held. Karen responded with such sensitivity to my body and felt so 'in tune'. As the massage went deeper, I began sobbing - releasing yet more grief. I felt totally safe and nurtured by Karen's loving presence and awareness. Thank you!" – C.P.
"I am amazed at just how good it feels to have space freed up, whether it is in my joints or muscles. Just to have areas of my body opened up again! What I am really conscious of with this form of massage are the long flowing moves and the constant hands on. The connection is always there, whether through the physical hands or through the energetic connection that is created. I felt very grateful for the way you checked about the pressure you were using on different areas of my body. You also seemed to have a sense when it was enough even when I didn't specifically mention it. Thank you so much for this gorgeous massage!" S.M.